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A tale of two cities
on 27 May 2013
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which see actors who played a companion to the Doctor on tv return to their role to read an all new story for their character.
They do all the narration and all the voices, save for one which is done by a guest actor.
The stories are usually complete in two parts on a single cd, with episodes running from twenty five to thirty minutes [approx].
This story sees Frazer Hines return once again to the role of Jamie, whom he played alongside Patrick Troughton's Doctor back in the 1960's. The guest voice is Wendy Padbury, reprising the role of fellow companion Zoe.
The two episodes of this story both run for just over twenty five minutes.
It sees the TARDIS land in the city of Tromesis. On Earth. But the city is a ruin. People struggle to survive. They have other problems as well, such as the strange metal birds called Hawkers who attack people. People who have visions of a gleaming utopian city.
There's also the matter of a large meteor headed their way.
Can the Doctor save a city that is seemingly doomed?
As those who have heard others in this range will know, Frazer Hines does an amazingly good impression of the Second Doctor, and it's always a pleasure to hear that. Wendy Padbury is used well as the guest voice, Zoe coming into the narrative at just the right moments.
This means this one has a little more dialogue than narration, and that is pretty effective. The first episode does set up the story nicely, portraying very well a dead city where the survivors are barely able to get by. It does threaten to become a bit of a run around for the last quarter of this episode.
But then it surprises you because the second episode is absolutely superb. The truth is revealed at just the right pace. None of it is what you might expect. It's all highly original. And there's a wonderful moral dilemma for the characters - and the listener - to consider. As to save the day, people have to confront something that's not very easy to beat.
This leads to a memorable little final scene that will stay with you for a while.
A fine re-creation of it's era, also an original and well acted piece of work, it's a very good entry in this range and well worth five stars.
There's a trailer for the next companion chronicle on the track after the end of part two.
And seven minutes [approx] of interviews with Frazer Hines and the director of the story on the two tracks after that.